Actress Sophia Loren and producer Dino De Laurentiis will be feted at this year's Montreal World Film Festival as part of the event's 25th anniversary celebration.
Loren will receive a Special Grand Prix of the Americas for her exceptional achievement in cinema. Loren's most recent film, Francesca E Nunziata, directed by Italian director Lina Wertmueller, will have its world premiere. Loren is currently shooting Between Strangers, directed by her son Eduardo Ponti, in Toronto.
De Laurentiis will be the chairman and keynote speaker at the festival's annual industry forum, the Film Market Conference. The producer of films ranging from Serpico and Barbarella to the ongoing Hannibal Lecter franchise is seen an apt speaker for the French-Canadian event due to his experience within the studio system and as a film-maker in Italy. Held August 27 and 28 while the festival runs August 23 to September 3, the conference aims to address the struggle of Canadian companies in the face of Hollywood.
"[De Laurentiis] had to leave Italy because he had a problem hiring foreign crews, so he was a victim of protectionism at home," said festival spokesperson Henry Welsh. "But he also knows what it's like to be an outsider in Hollywood and yet learn how to work the Hollywood system."